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STATES, TERRITORIES, AND
NOW OR HERETOFORE FORMING
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Compiled and Edited
For Treaty of Cession, 1898, see Philippines, p. 3153. .
CIVIL GOVERNMENT OF PORTO RICO-1900
[FIFTY-Sixth CONGRESS, First SESSION)
An Act temporarily to provide revenues and a civil government for Porto Rico,
and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions of this Act shall apply to the island of Porto Rico and to the adjacent islands and waters of the islands lying east of the seventy-fourth meridian of longitude west of Greenwich, which were ceded to the United States by the Government of Spain by treaty entered into on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight; and the name Porto Rico, as used in this Act, shall be held to include not only the island of that name, but all the adjacent islands as aforesaid.
Sec. 2. That on and after the passage of this Act the same tariffs, customs, and duties shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles imported into Porto Rico from ports other than those of the United States which are required by law to be collected upon articles imported into the United States from foreign countries: Provided, That on all coffee in the bean or ground imported into Porto Rico there shall be levied and collected a duty of five cents per pound, any law or part of law to the contrary notwithstanding: And provided further, That all Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works, not subversive of public order in Porto Rico, shall be admitted free of duty into Porto Rico for a period of ten years, reckoning from the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, as provided in said treaty of peace between the United States and Spain : And provided further. That all books and phamphlets printed in the English language shall be admitted into Porto Rico free of duty when imported from the United States.
Sec. 3. That on and after the passage of this Act all merchandise coming into the United States from Porto Rico and coming into Porto Rico from the United States shall be entered at the several ports of entry upon payment of fifteen per centum of the duties which are required to be levied, collected, and paid upon like articles of merchandise imported from foreign countries; and in addition thereto upon articles of merchandise of Porto Rican manufacture coming into the United States and withdrawn for consumption or sale upon
payment of a tax equal to the internal-revenue tax imposed in the United States upon the like articles of merchandise of domestic manufacture; such tax to be paid by internal-revenue stamp or stamps to be purchased and provided by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and to be procured from the collector of internal revenue at or most convenient to the port of entry of said merchandise in the United States, and to be affixed under such regulations as the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall prescribe; and on all articles of merchandise of United States manufacture coming into Porto Rico in addition to the duty above provided upon payment of a tax equal in rate and amount to the internal-revenue tax imposed in Porto Rico upon the like articles of Porto Rican manufacture: Prorided, That on and after the date when this Act shall take effect, all merchandise and articles, except coffee, not dutiable under the tariff laws of the United States, and all merchandise and articles entered in Porto Rico free of duty under orders heretofore made by the Secretary of War, shall be admitted into the several ports thereof, when imported from the United States, free of duty, all laws or parts of laws to the contrary notwithstanding; and whenever the legislative assembly of Porto Rico shall have enacted and put into operation a system of local taxation to meet the necessities of the government of Porto Rico, by this Act established, and shall by resolution duly passed so notify the President, he shall make proclamation thereof, and thereupon all tariff duties on merchandise and articles going into Porto Rico from the United States or coming into the United States from Porto Rico shall cease, and from and after such date all such merchandise and articles shall be entered at the several ports of entry free of duty; and in no event shall any duties be collected after the first day of March, nineteen hundred and two, on merchandise and articles going into Porto Rico from the United States or coming into the United States from Porto Rico.
Sec. 4. That the duties and taxes collected in Porto Rico in pursuance of this Act, less the cost of collecting the same, and the gross amount of all collections of duties and taxes in the United States upon articles of merchandise coming from Porto Rico, shall not be covered into the general fund of the Treasury, but shall be held as a separate fund, and shall be placed at the disposal of the President to be used for the government and benefit of Porto Rico until the government of Porto Rico herein provided for shall have been organized, when all moneys theretofore collected under the provisions hereof, then unexpended, shall be transferred to the local treasury of Porto Rico, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall designate the several ports and subports of entry in Porto Rico and shall make such rules and regulations and appoint such agents as may be necessary to collect the duties and taxes authorized to be levied, collected, and paid in Porto Rico by the provisions of this Act, and he shall fix the compensation and provide for the payment thereof of all such officers, agents, and assistants as he may find it necessary to employ to carry out the provisions hereof: Provided, houerer, That as soon as a civil government for Porto Rico shall have been organized in accordance with the provisions of this Act and notice thereof shall have been
given to the President he shall make proclamation thereof, and thereafter all collections of duties and taxes in Porto Rico under the provisions of this Act shall be paid into the treasury of Porto Rico, to be expended as required by law for the government and benefit thereof instead of being paid into the Treasury of the United States.
SEC, 5. That on and after the day when this Act shall go into effect all goods, wares, and merchmandise previously imported from Porto Rico, for which no entry has been made, and all goods, wares, and merchandise previously entered without payment of duty and under bond for warehousing, transportation, or any other purpose, for which no permit of delivery to the importer or his agent has been issued, shall be subjected to the duties imposed by this Act, and to no other duty, upon the entry or the withdrawal threof: Provided, That when duties are based upon the weight of merchandise deposited in any public or private bonded warehouse said duties shall be levied and collected upon the weight of such merchandise at the time of its entry.
Sec. 6. That the capital of Porto Rico shall be at the city of San Juan and the seat of government shall be maintained there.
Sec. 7. That all inhabitants continuing to reside therein who were Spanish subjects on the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and then resided in Porto Rico, and their children born subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be citizens of Porto Rico, and as such entitled to the protection of the United States, except such as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain on or before the eleventh day of April, nineteen hundred, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain entered into on the eleventh day of April, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine; and they, together with such citizens of the United States as may reside in Porto Rico, shall constitute a body politic under the name of The People of Porto Rico, with governmental powers as hereinafter conferred, and with power to sue and be sued as such,
Sec. 8. That the laws and ordinances of Porto Rico now in force shall continue in full force and effect, except as altered, amended, or modified hereinafter, or as altered or modified by military orders and decrees in force when this Act shall take effect, and so far as the same are not inconsistent or in conflict with the statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, or the provisions hereof, until altered, amended, or repealed by the legislative authority hereinafter provided for Porto Rico or by Act of Congress of the United States: Provided, That so much of the law which was in force at the time of cession, April eleventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, forbidding the marriage of priests, ministers, or followers of any faith because of vows they may have taken, being paragraph four, article eightythree, chapter three, civil code, and which was continued by the order of the secretary of justice of Porto Rico, dated March seventeenth, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, and promulgated by Major-General Guy V. Henry, United States Volunteers, is hereby repealed and annulled, and all persons lawfully married in Porto Rico shall have